The Mattituck Lions Club’s annual Strawberry Festival will return Father’s Day weekend for its 65th year, along with some of the globe’s best competitive eaters for another World Strawberry Shortcake-Eating Championship.
Carmen Cincotti, 24, of Newark, N.J. scarfed down 22 pounds of strawberry shortcake in just eight minutes last year, setting a new world record, according to Major League Eating, which sanctions the competition. This year’s event will be highlighted by Darron Breeden of Orange, Va., who is ranked the fifth-best competitive eater in the world. Other top-ranked eaters will compete alongside him, putting their stomachs to the test at the contest presented by Peconic Bay Medical Center/Northwell Health.
This is the second year the contest will be held after a decade hiatus. A total of $3,500 in prizes will be handed out.
The festival opens Thursday, June 13, with Hulling Night, where volunteers from the community help hull the approximately 100,000 berries used to make shortcake and alcohol-free daiquiris for the festival. A carnival including craft and business vendors, live entertainment, and sales of strawberry goods such as chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry pies and pints of fresh, local berries are a few of the other treats for attendees over the festival weekend. Saturday will feature the crowning of the newest Strawberry Queen along with a fireworks show. The festival concludes June 16 with Father’s Day specials. Fathers will get free admission and ride free with a paid child.
“We’re very proud that this has become a signature event for our local community, and a family weekend that attracts our neighbors from all across Long Island,” said Steve Ammirati, the festival chairman, in a statement.
For more information, visit mattituckstrawberryfestival.org. Follow on social media with the hashtag: #strawfest.